Mining Emergency Response Competition in Perth

Friday, 24 November, 2017

The seventh annual Mining Emergency Response Competition (MERC) will be held on the grounds of Langley Park in Perth on 25 and 26 November 2017.

Designed to showcase the fantastic work of mining emergency response crews in WA and develop skills through competition, MERC features two days of competition between 15 emergency teams. Teams are made up of a combination of volunteer emergency response members and full-time emergency service officers. They are assessed on a range of emergency and rescue disciplines, including Road Crash Scenario, Hazardous Materials, Vertical Rescue, Fire Fighting, Confined Space and Emergency Response Team Readiness.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said: “It is important that these teams, who are all volunteers, are able to continue practising the skills required to respond accordingly in the face of an emergency.”

Teams will represent Fortescue Metals Group, Newmont, Rio Tinto, Synergy, Karara Mining, Anglo Ashanti, Premier Coal and Northern Star Resources.

With many mine sites being located in remote areas, it is common for them to have mutual aid agreements with local shires, meaning rescue teams can be called outside the mine perimeter to assist with situations such as road accidents, medical emergencies, fires and floods. This is an extremely important role as these volunteers are often first on the scene and can be pivotal to the outcome of an emergency situation, making their skills a valuable asset to remote communities.

During the weekend, teams and spectators are encouraged to get involved in a series of hands-on skills sessions encompassing the latest in rescue techniques and technology.

The event will be raising funds to support a new wellness app called My Wellbeing Mate, developed by not-for-profit counselling service Holyoake. Many emergency responders are confronted with traumatic situations, and this can be detrimental to mental health. The app is designed to allow emergency responders to quickly access resources for self-help and to support others.

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